Update by Della Scott-Ireton, FPAN, and Jack Irion, MMS
Well, today was a slow day. Early this morning we had problems with the lights on the ROV, so it had to come to the surface to be fixed. When the ROV went back in the water it got to only 200 feet before having more problems and had to be brought up again. The ROV technicians worked continuously to get it in shape, but it was several hours before it was ready to deploy again. Since we resumed work, however, we’ve cleared around the large stern concretion, which revealed a scatter of small-caliber lead shot. Several of the shot were recovered for analysis, together with a few gunflints for flintlock weapons which were among the shot.
The next order of business was to recover the compasses. Two compasses complete with gimbals are near the stern concretion. While using a small ROV-mounted dredge to remove sediment from around the starboard compass we decided that the ROV was too close to the telescope for comfort, so we diverted to pick up the telescope. A little tool like a rake was used to slide under the telescope, gently lift it free of the sediment, and move it to a padded crate for lifting. We’re especially excited to inspect the telescope because it appears to still have its lenses in place. Moving back to the compass, we decided to use a modified fryer basket with the sides cut off to “scoop” it up without damaging any of its parts. This recovery is happening right now. Stand by!